Jan 1, 2014; Orlando, FL, USA; South Carolina Gamecocks defensive end Jadeveon Clowney (7) holds the Capital One Bowl trophy after defeating the Wisconsin Badgers at the game held at the Florida Citrus Bowl. Mandatory Credit: Rob Foldy-USA TODAY Sports

2014 NFL Draft Profile: Jadeveon Clowney, DE South Carolina

Jadeveon Clowney is the top player on a lot of draft boards and mock drafts.  There are a lot of teams out there with huge needs at quarterback, but Clowney looks like the real deal as far as becoming a pro.  He has all the tools to be one of the best players ever in the NFL, but has had some questions arise about his work ethic and reliance on physical gifts.

His size, speed, strength, explosiveness, and technique are unmatched in this draft class at defensive end.  However, he doesn’t lose his effectiveness when asked to stand up rather than be a down lineman.  It’s this kind of athleticism and versatility that will make him a top draft pick in this year’s draft.

Here are his statistics over three years at South Carolina:

  • Nov 30, 2013; Columbia, SC, USA; South Carolina Gamecocks defensive end Jadeveon Clowney (7) celebrates a tackle for loss against the Clemson Tigers in the second quarter at Williams-Brice Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Blake-USA TODAY Sports

    130 total tackles

  • 85 solo tackles
  • 47 tackles for a loss
  • 24 sacks
  • 7 passes defended
  • 9 forced fumbles

These statistics are even more impressive when you consider that Clowney was likely double (or even triple) teamed on many plays.  Clowney is 6’5″ tall and 274 pounds according to NFL Draft Scout and is a very intimidating figure that could be a huge part of a team’s defense for the next decade.

Strengths

  • Has all the physical tools to succeed at the next level
  • He is versatile enough to play in a 4-3 or a 3-4
  • He is proficient with many different types of ways to get to the quarterback
  • Sheds blocks with ease
  • Performed will against tough competition

Weaknesses

  • Has had his effort questioned on some occasions
  • Post-season surgery could keep him out of the Combine and scare NFL GMs

Fit For The Vikings

Clowney would be an excellent fit for the Vikings.  He would fill a huge hole that is left by Jared Allen and Everson Griffen.

My Take

Clowney falling to the Vikings at pick #8 would be a dream.  He is almost assured to be a top 3 pick in this year’s draft.

 

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